the people along the sand all turn and look one way;
they turn their back on the land, they look at the sea all day.

as long as it takes to pass a ship keeps raising its hull;
the wetter ground like glass reflects a standing gull.

the land may vary more, but wherever the truth may be -
the water comes ashore and people look at the sea.

they cannot look out far, they cannot see in deep -
but when was that ever a bar for any watch they keep.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Moonlight Through The Pines

Years ago, I was lost in the deep, dark woods.  Really.  I was on a camping trip, and had wandered away to look at the moon rising over a lake.  I stayed longer than I should, and before I knew it, the woods had grown dark and I was a long way from camp.  I had "bushwhacked" my way to the lake, which meant there was no trail.  And I had forgotten to bring a flashlight, because I was young and stupid.  

I had to get back to camp, but was not even certain of the direction in which to go...except, in a general way, away from the lake.  So, I turned around and took my first step.  Not having a trail to follow, I was really concerned about how to find my way through the woods.  There were trees, brush, briars, poison ivy, bears, snakes and probably a wild cat or two.  

As I stood looking into the darkness...I saw a light.  It was moonlight, shining through the trees and illuminating a patch of forest about 15 feet away.  The light was bright enough that I could see the area being moonlit, and I could pretty  much figure out how to get to it without hitting a tree or falling in a hole.  

So, I took a step...then another...all the while, keeping my eye on the patch of moonlit forest.  I made it.  I stopped, looked up at the moon through the pine branches, then turned my eyes to the forest again.  There, about 10 or 15 feet away, was another patch of forest washed in moon light.  Away I went.

Each time I made it to a section of moonlit forest, I looked around and found another several steps away.  I kept track of myself, to insure that I was moving away from the lake.  I did not know where I was going, but I just kept going, certain that if I went away from the lake, I would find something.

This went on for about an hour.  Trek for a bit towards moonlit forest, stop, wait, look, see the moon shining through the branches in another part of the woods...and take off.

Eventually, I saw another orange flicker through the trees.  I listened, and could hear laughter and talking. I went to towards the orange light, and walked right in to the campsite.  Everybody was having a good time - nobody seemed to have missed me, and no one noticed I had arrived at the camp by blundering in through the woods without a flashlight.

Right this point in my life...I am wandering through the woods in the dark.  Every once in a while, whatever the spiritual equivalent is to moonlight, finds it way through the trees and illuminates a section of forest.  I head there.  I do not know where I am going.  I do not know where I am.  But the moon keeps marking a place..and I keep moving. day...I will stumble towards the fire.  

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